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Congratulations Bethany!

5/16/2019 — Bethany Rittle-Johnson has been named the Anita S. and Antonio M. Gotto Chair in Child Development. Congratulations! Vanderbilt University’s eight newest endowed chair holders were celebrated for their path-breaking scholarship and research by family members, donors, colleagues and friends during a Feb. 25 ceremony at the Student Life Center.


2/28/2019 — The Department of Psychology would like to congratulate Frank Tong on being named to an endowed chair (Centennial Professor of Psychology). Vanderbilt University’s eight newest endowed chair holders were celebrated for their path-breaking scholarship and research by family members, donors, colleagues and friends during a Feb. 25 ceremony at the Student Life Center.

Child Studies Master's student makes great strides on and off the court

5/10/2019 — Briana (Bree) Horrocks is a May 2019 graduate of the Child Studies Masters program at Vanderbilt. She came to Vanderbilt in 2017 from Purdue University to pursue a basketball scholarship as well as an advanced degree in child development. She has distinguished herself during her time in the Master’s program in her passion for her studies, her connections with her fellow students, and her focus on designing evidence-based resources for trans and gender non-conforming individuals to facilitate affirmative healthcare experiences.


4/30/2019 — Gordon Logan has been elected as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a special distinction in that only a small fraction of scientists who are non-U.S. citizens are so honored each year. As you know, election to the NAS is among the very highest honors a scientist can achieve and is a testimony to the seminal work Gordon has conducted throughout his illustrious career. Remarkably, Gordon is the third member of our department to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (after Randolph Blake in 2012 and Jon Kaas in 2000).

Congratulations Psychology Day award winners!

4/24/2019 — The Jum C. Nunnally Honors Research Award - Leyao Yu (Undergraduate Honors student, Reyna Gordon lab)

The Pat Burns Memorial Graduate Student Research Award  - Rebecca Cox (PhD student, Bunmi Olatiunji lab)

The Jum C. Nunnally Dissertation Award - Michelle Cox (ex-PhD student in Alex Maier lab, now a post-doc at Rochester University).

The Vivien Casagrande Neuroscience Travel Award - Gabriella DiCarlo (MD/PhD student in neuroscience, Mark Wallace lab)

Bob Fox Award of Excellence in Postdoctoral Research - Kacie Dougherty (post-doc, Alex Maier lab)

The William F. Hodges Teaching Assistant Award  - Steven Errington (PhD student, Jeff Schall lab)

The Trisha James Outstanding Staff award - Angel Gaither (Program Coordinator - Department of Psychology Administration Office)

Former student continues to break new ground!

4/15/2019 —


Robert Reinhart Ph.D. earned his doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University in 2016. He worked under the mentorship of Geoff Woodman in the Vanderbilt Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. Dr. Reinhart accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Boston University straight out of graduate school.







Alex Maier's Findings on eye-signal blending re-examine Nobel-winning research

1/24/2019 — Look at an object, cover one eye at a time, and the object appears to jump back and forth. Stare at it with both eyes working, and we take for granted a complicated process of the brain combining the signals into one, giving us a clear view and proper depth perception. That happens the moment those dual signals enter the visual cortex in the brain, a team of Vanderbilt University researchers has discovered. Their finding, made possible by modern technology, is counter to one that garnered the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Vanderbilt’s Alexander Maier, assistant professor of psychology, and Ph.D. student Kacie Dougherty used computerized eye-tracking cameras plus electrodes that can record activity of single neurons in a particular area. Knowing precisely where the signals meet and the brain processes them is vital to treating amblyopia, or reduced vision in one eye because the brain and eye aren’t working together properly. So far, the standard treatment is placing a patch over the working eye in an effort to jumpstart the “lazy” one. If pediatric eye specialists miss the short window when the problem can be fixed, it’s typically permanent. “Our data suggest that the two eyes are merged as they arrive in the neocortex and not at a later stage of brain processing, as previously believed,” Maier said. “This major leap in our understanding of how the brain combines information from the two eyes is promising for our search for therapeutic approaches to some of the most common eye diseases in children.” Knowing which neurons are involved in the process also opens the door to targeted brain therapies that reach well beyond eye patches. “There are six functionally distinct layers in the primary visual cortex,” Dougherty said. “We thought the initial processing happened in the upper layers, but it’s actually in the middle. That’s vital information for developing treatments.” Their findings appear today in a paper titled “Binocular modulation of monocular V1 neurons” in the journal Current Biology. Their work was supported by National Eye Institute grant 1R01EY027402-01, National Eye Institute Training Grant 5T32 EY007135-23, the Whitehall Foundation, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Share This Story AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInShare to SlackShare to EmailShare to PrintFriendlyShare to More Media Inquiries Heidi Hall · (615) 322-NEWS ·  Explore Story Topics Education and Psychology Health and Medicine releases Research Alexander Maier Arts and Science eye signal blending psychology Research Vanderbilt Research Trending visual cortex Related Stories PhotoTeam finds how error and reward signals are organized within cerebral cortex Jan 14, 2019 PhotoWhy does it take humans so long to mature compared to other animals? Look to your neurons! Oct 30, 2018 PhotoCenter for Integrative and Cognitive neuroscience hosts workshop Oct 19, 2018 PhotoStudy reveals safety signal from genes that mimic drugs Mar 1, 2018